Representative Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, just finished reading on the House floor a 35-count impeachment resolution against President George W. Bush. Kucinich’s lengthy and detailed indictment of this wayward president is the most thorough and powerful case made to date. He outlined a litany of high crimes and misdemeanors and showed without a shadow of a doubt that George W. Bush deserves to be impeached and removed from office. Kucinich made clear that Bush has violated his oath of office and his Constitutional duty that the laws be “faithfully executed.”
Kucinich’s impeachment resolution comes after the shocking revelations contained in the 107-page Senate Intelligence Committee’s report that confirmed, once and for all, (and with the vote of two Republican Senators), that President Bush lied the American people into war [Note: Wrong! –ST]. There can be no more dire and serious offense than a president lying to his fellow Americans on issues of war and peace. Bush should be impeached forthwith. The House Judiciary Committee should vote on the Kucinich resolution and split it up into Articles of Impeachment. All the committee needs is one Article to impeach Bush, Kucinich has provided dozens of potential Articles.
Sweet! Now, Pelosi has repeatedly said that impeachment is off the table, but as I’ve asked before, why? Democrats have been salivating over the idea for years, and haven’t many in the House and Senate either said or strongly implied since 9/11 that Bush has blatantly and deliberately violated the Constitution repeatedly? Oh yeah, and haven’t they been hinting around for most of Bush’s two terms at the possibility that he is a “war criminal”?
If he is all that and more, don’t Democrats have an obligation to protect this country from such naked lusts for absolute power by removing from office the very man who they believe has “shredded” our Constitution? If they truly believe this, aren’t they bound and obligated by law to proceed with articles of impeachment against the President? Or could it be that they don’t really believe he is a “war criminal” who has “shredded” the Constitution but have just thrown the accusations out there in hopes that they would stick and as a result diminish the President’s power to effectively wage war against the enemy both here at home and abroad? The answer? It’s more about playing politics, as Pelosi talked about during a breakfast with “progressive journalists” last summer:
If she were not in the House–and not Speaker of the House–Nancy Pelosi says she “would probably advocate” impeaching President Bush.
But given her current role as party leader, at a breakfast with progressive journalists today (named after our great friend Maria Leavey) Pelosi sketched her case against impeachment.
“The question of impeachment is something that would divide the country,” Pelosi said this morning during a wide-ranging discussion in the ornate Speaker’s office. Her top priorities are ending the war in Iraq, expanding health care, creating jobs and preserving the environment. “I know what our success can be on those issues. I don’t know what our success can be on impeaching the president.”
Democratic Party leaders do not have the votes to pass an impeachment resolution. And Democrats could be judged harshly for partisan gridlock, just as the American people turned on Congressional Republicans in the 90s for pursuing the impeachment of President Clinton.
In the first question of the morning, Pelosi was asked if she supported a proposal by Washington Rep. Jay Inslee to impeach beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
The Speaker looked down and rubbed her temples wearily. “I would like us to stay focused on our agenda this week,” she said. Today the entails finalizing ethics and lobbying reform. Tomorrow it will mean expanding children’s health care and boosting Medicare benefits. By the end of the week the House will likely pass an energy bill and legislation will be brought to the floor that reins in the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.
Pelosi’s no fan of Gonzales or his bosses. “The Administration wants the Attorney General to sign off on what can be collected,” she says of the wiretapping proposal. “Absolutely not.”
She is greatly disturbed by the lawlessness of this Administration and its contempt for checks and balances. “I take an oath to defend and protect the Constitution, so it is a top priority for me and my colleagues to uphold that.” She notes the vigorous oversight hearings held by committee chairman like John Conyers and Henry Waxman.
Sounds to me like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats (save Kucinich) have been derelict in their duties by holding off on impeaching our “lawless” President – simply because it might hurt them politically. They clearly believe Bush has no regard for the law, yet talk of impeachment in the House is just that, talk, because even though Pelosi believes as most Congressional Democrats do that Bush would love nothing more than to have absolute power over our government, she’s continuously put a lid on talk of impeachment because it wouldn’t serve the interests of the Democratic party.
We’ve heard for years how Republicans have supposedly been willing to put “party before country” in the name of extending their majorities in the House and Senate (when we had them). If Pelosi’s repeated attempts at stalling the impeachment process against the President don’t speak volumes about her own party’s real priorities on that front, I don’t know what does.